It’s true what our mothers have always reminded us – NEVER skip breakfast. It’s the easiest to overlook as most of us would rather use those extra minutes tucked in bed rather than shambling in the kitchen, whipping up a meal. However, skipping the first meal of the day has serious domino effects on how we feel and function for the rest of the day.

WHY BREAKFAST?

First of all, breakfast is called what it is because it “breaks” the fasting state of the body after it’s been at rest for 10 to 12 hours. When we’re asleep (though we may be at “rest”), our body continues to work hard in repairing cells and restoring body functions. You need breakfast to replenish the energy used the previous night and to give your body the fuel it needs to function for the rest of the day.

SIN NO MORE

Skipping breakfast is considered as a grave nutrition sin. In fact, many people advocate eating a full and well-balanced meal in the morning. Those who eat breakfast enjoy the following benefits:

  • improved performance,
  • better weight management
  • reduced insulin resistance that puts you at risk of developing diabetes,
  • stabilizes blood glucose levels (which regulates your hunger pangs),
  • lowers blood cholesterols levels,
  • prevents mood-affecting energy fluctuations

BY THE NUMBERS

Online studies show that those who skipped breakfast had higher levels of cholesterol and fat compared to those who ate breakfast. Moreover, students who ate a well-balanced breakfast performed better than those who skipped the meal. While those who ate breakfast had an overall larger calorie intake for the day, they had better nutrition profiles and were generally healthier. They were less likely to be overweight than kids who ate nothing. Overall, eating breakfast has been linked to improved cognitive function in students, especially when it comes to memory, test grades, and school attendance.

WHAT NOW?

We’ve stressed the importance of breakfast; The next question is, does it matter what type of food we eat in the morning? Ideally, breakfast should be a balance of a variety of food.

Choosing lean protein like chicken breast and lean cuts of meat (such as beef sirloin and porkloin) help to make one feel fuller longer and helps to curb hunger pangs. Oatmeal and whole grains – examples of complex carbohydrates – offer the same feeling of fullness as these are digested slowly in the body. Of course, a serving of fruit and vegetable is highly recommended.

Eating a healthy breakfast is not as limiting as you think. You can still enjoy your favorite champorado and tuyo with milk; a simple egg, pandesal, and coffee combo is great; and even any variation of your mother’s cornsilog, hotsilog, or tocilog is okay. If time is a problem, whip up instant pancit canton or mami (watch out for its sodium though) Add egg or have milk to go with it. If you’re looking for something easier and more convenient, on-the-go, nutrient-rich snacks, a meal bundle of crackers, cheese and banana or bread, luncheon meat and orange do well to boost your energy in the morning.

The bottom line is eating something is better than nothing. Fuel your body and fuel your mind with a meal that will help you perform at your best.